Yours to Tell

The story you choose to tell about yourself affects you profoundly:

It can affect how you relate to others and how you relate to yourself. It can create meaning and connection or perpetuate confusion and misunderstanding. It can send you barreling toward the future or keep you stuck in the past. It can empower or discourage you.

Your story can make or break you.

The good news is, when you’re the author of your own story, you get to decide what happens.

Your story is yours to tell.

I’m just here to help you tell it.


I’m Emily.

I help people and businesses explore and express their most important stories.


As a creative with many passions, my own story isn’t cookie-cutter (although it does include quite a few actual cookie cutters).

I’m a wordsmith, culture nerd, gastronome, songstress, history buff, idea lover, and voracious explorer of the human experience. My career has taken me from performing with the New York Philharmonic to cooking at Chez Panisse, to working as marketing manager for one of New York’s most beloved specialty food stores.

From my childhood days spent lost in Greek mythology books to my graduate studies in Cultural Memory, to my interest in food culture and my work in marketing communications, my focus has always been consistent: exploring the practices, attitudes, and ideas that help us to understand ourselves and connect with others.

At the foundation of all of my work is the idea that, as individuals and communities, we’re all defined by the stories we choose to believe, share, and remember.


Once upon a timeline…




Born at the turn of the 20th C, all of my grandparents were Jews who narrowly escaped Europe with their lives in 1939. Those they left behind perished in the Holocaust, along with all the family stories, culture, and history. My grandparents’ stories, which have impacted me in so many ways, are where my story begins, and are, in part, the source of my own storytelling obsession.



A Dream Debut

Having started to train as a classical singer at age 14, I made my professional debut as a soprano soloist at 21, singing with the New York Philharmonic (in a piece which was, ironically, about World War II and dedicated to Anne Frank). Music is a universal way of telling stories, and expressing myself through singing is integral to who I am.



Glorious Food

I spent my early career first cooking and then telling stories about food, first as a food writer at Food & Wine and Saveur, and then as a brand strategist for one of NYC’s most beloved specialty stores. Like music, food tells our stories. For me, cooking, eating, and learning about food have been tools for expressing myself and connecting with others.



World in a Square

I moved to London to study cultural memory, which is a fancy way of saying I studied the way people and groups tell stories about themselves and their histories. While there, I lived in an amazing international student community where I had the wonderful opportunity to hear the stories of new friends from around the world.



Tenement Halls

I honed my storytelling skills as an educator and costumed interpreter at NYC’s Tenement Museum. Teaching and sharing stories about immigration to tourists and locals alike was rewarding and moving every single day on the job.



Down to Business

I began offering strategy and support to new food-industry entrepreneurs, but I didn’t feel quite at home in my business. Using the power of story to overcome my own confusion helped me realize that helping to give voice to the stories of others has been the thread running through my work since the beginning. I created Yours to Tell in 2019 because storytelling is what I love best, and it’s also what I’m best at.


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Official Bio:

EMILY HALPERN is dedicated to helping people understand the roles that narrative, culture, and memory play in shaping our personal and public lives, our relationships, our communities, and our organizations. Her fascination with telling stories and communicating ideas has been the running theme throughout her career. Yours to Tell marries her experience in marketing communications, food media, museum education, and performance with her interest in memory and identity and her passion for food, culture, and the arts. Emily has performed with the New York Philharmonic, cooked at Chez Panisse, worked as Marketing Manager for Di Palo’s of Little Italy, written for Saveur and Food & Wine, and worked as an educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. She has consulted on projects for The Astor Center, Italian Wine Merchants, The Essex Street Market, and The Museum at Eldridge Street, among others. She is a CTI trained coach with an MA in Cultural Memory from The University of London and another MA in Food Culture, Communications, and Marketing from The University of Gastronomic Sciences, a Grand Diplôme in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute (now the ICC), and a BA in music from Barnard College of Columbia University. A native New Yorker, Emily lives in Brooklyn.